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Monday, September 26, 2011

Do We Really Know Who We’re Playing With?

Do you ever play Words With Friends on your smartphone?

I did once. It scared me.

A simple game of scrabble shouldn’t be scary, but not knowing with whom I was swapping tiles created an anxiety that hindered my wordplay. Instead of spelling clever words I found myself mentally stumbling and arranging tiles to say “soft,” "weak”, and “fear.”

I was paralyzed by anything more than a simple four letter word.

The reason for this mental mishap was I kept thinking about my opponent. Who was it? What did they look like? Were they a terrorist sending me secret messages that would somehow brainwash me into a dangerous international plot?

Was it a Mormon? A tea-party fanatic? A Scientologist?

Were these fanatics sending me subliminal messages through their choice of words? “Heretic.” “Polygamy.” “Born.” “Again.” “Burn.” “Hell.” “Heaven.” “Hate.”

Or maybe my opponent was Sarah Palin? What was she suggesting when her tiles misspelled “cocaine,” “swinger,” “sex,” “black,” “hung,” “slavery,” “whore,” and “mistress”?

Do we REALLY know who we’re playing with?

Those late night scrabble partners hiding behind a fake name could actually be Maury Povich, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vladimir Putin, Justin Beiber, Charlie Sheen, or even Nancy Grace. It’s all so frightening...

I think I’ll just go back to playing with myself.

Solitaire.

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